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Sesame Place
Sesame place logo.png
Slogan Go Before They Grow
Location Langhorne, Pennsylvania, United States
Theme Sesame Street
Owner SeaWorld Entertainment (under a license from Sesame Workshop)
Opened July 30, 1980; 40 years ago (1980-07-30)
Operating season Year Round
Area 14 acres (5.7 ha)
Attractions
Total 27
Roller coasters 2
Water rides 9
Website Sesame Place Home Page
Status open

Sesame Place is a children's theme park and water park, located on the outskirts of Philadelphia in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. It is the only theme park in the United States based entirely on the award-winning children's educational television program Sesame Street and includes a variety of rides, shows and water attractions suited to young children. It is also the first theme park in the world to become a certified autism center.

Sesame Place is one of the 12 theme parks owned and operated by SeaWorld Entertainment, which operates the park under an exclusive license from Sesame Workshop, the non-profit owner of Sesame Street.

Overview

Sesame Place first opened in 1980 near the Oxford Valley Mall and initiated the expansion of the commercial complex in the vicinity. It was designed by Eric McMillan, a Canadian designer, Sandra Hanna of Lambertville, New Jersey and several other designers. The park is open from early May through Halloween for The Count's Halloween Spooktacular, and mid-November through December for A Very Furry Christmas. The original park was 3 acres (1.2 ha) and featured play areas and large computer labs where kids could color their favorite Sesame Street characters. Since then, it has expanded to 14 acres (5.7 ha) with rides and water attractions. The expansions included the construction of Cookie's Monster Land in 2014 - the park's largest renovation to date.

The theme park is described as having implemented features to make it accessible to children with autism, and on World Autism Awareness Day in 2018 was announced to be the first theme park that is a Certified Autism Center. Certified Autism Centers "[help] businesses better serve guests and clients with cognitive disorders, including autism".

In 2007, it became the first theme park in Pennsylvania to become completely smoke-free.

Related parks

Sesame Place is one of 12 parks operated by SeaWorld Entertainment. Others include SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego, SeaWorld San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Discovery Cove, Aquatica Florida, Adventure Island and Water Country USA.

Sesame Workshop was the park's original owner. Anheuser-Busch purchased the park in 1987 and subsequently operated it under the company's Busch Entertainment subsidiary. In 2008, Anheuser-Busch was purchased by InBev, and The Blackstone Group purchased the combined company's theme parks in 2009 and formed SeaWorld Entertainment to operate them. In 2009 and 2010, under the new ownership, kiddie areas in Busch Gardens and Sea World parks were converted to Sesame themes.

A second Sesame Place park opened in Irving, Texas in June 1982. The $10 million Texas park was located on 30.3 acres (12.26 ha) near State Highway 183, and differed from the Pennsylvania location in that most attractions were indoors. The Texas park never reopened after the fall season ended in October 1984 and was shut down permanently in January 1985 due to unprofitability and declining attendance. A third park in Tokyo, Japan was open from 1990 until December 31, 2006. In 2017, a fourth location was announced, to open "no later than" mid-2021. In 2019, it was announced that Aquatica San Diego near San Diego, California would be replaced by a new Sesame Place theme park by spring 2021.

In 1994, a Sesame Street themed amusement park called Parque Plaza Sesamo (Plaza Sésamo) was opened in Monterrey, Mexico. According to TEA's Global Attractions Attendance Report, Parque Plaza Sésamo is one of Latin America's highest ranking theme parks by attendance, with 1.2 million visitors per year. In Salou, Spain, the PortAventura Park has a Sesame Street themed area called SésamoAventura. Universal Studios Japan has a Sesame Street section in their Universal Wonderland themed area.

Attractions

Each attraction is split into a category. Dry rides are open during Elmo's Springtacular, the summer season, The Count's Halloween Spooktacular and A Very Furry Christmas. Water rides are open only in the summer season (Memorial Day-Labor Day). Other rides are only operated during Elmo's Springtacular, The Count's Halloween Spooktacular, or A Very Furry Christmas.

Sesame Plaza

The front entrance.

Name Manufacturer Opened Description
Vapor Trail Vekoma 1998 a Super Grover-themed custom Vekoma family roller coaster with several helixes.

Oscar's Wacky Taxi

An area featuring the titular roller coaster.

Name Manufacturer Opened Description
Oscar's Wacky Taxi The Gravity Group 2018 a family wooden roller coaster, it is located near the front gate.
Big Bird's Tour Bus TBA 2020 a crazy bus ride found in kids areas at many amusement parks.

Twiddlebug Land

An area themed to the Twiddlebug characters.

Name Opened Description
Mix n' Match Twiddle Tracks 1993 a children's railroad.
Silly Sand Slides 1993 three giant slides modeled after; A large watch, a spoon on a bag of marbles and a dumped bucket of sand. (Removed before the 2019 season)
Sky Splash 1995 a large raft water slide that stands more than six stories high, it is designed to look like it is made out of giant toys.
Slimey's Chutes 1993 two spiral tube water slides. Single and double tubes are used.
Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave 1993 a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) wave pool formed from Ernie's wild garden hose.

Sesame Island

An area featuring water-based attractions.

Name Opened Description
Abby's Paradise Theater a covered outdoor theater that currently shows A Sesame Street Christmas and hosts Snuffy meet & greets.
Big Bird's Rambling River 1990 a slow-moving, 1,000-foot (300 m) waterway winding through Sesame Island.
Ernie's Waterworks 1990 a small water play area.
Sand Castle Beach 1990 a giant beach-like sandbox and playground.

Sesame Neighborhood

A full-scale replica of Sesame Street. Opened in 1988.

Name Opened Description
Sunny Day Carousel 2008 a carousel with Sesame Street-designed horses. Its location was formerly the home of the Big Bird Steps.
Sesame Studios 1980 an indoor theater currently showing Elmo the Musical: LIVE! Christmas
Sesame Place Neighborhood Theater a large outdoor theater that currently shows Elmo's Christmas Wish.

The Count's Court

Themed after Count von Count and features water rides. The special Count-themed dry attractions only operate during special events and are listed below.

Name Opened Description
The Count's Splash Castle 2009 a multi-level, water park attraction features over 90 play elements, including a 1000-gallon tipping bucket.
Sesame Streak a pair of tube water slides, one for single riders and the other for double riders.
Slippery Slopes four short vertical water slides that drop into a three-foot pool.

Elmo's World

Themed after Elmo, more specifically the Elmo's World segment.

Name Opened Description
Bert & Ernie's Slip & Slide 1985 two intertwining body flumes that empty into a splash pool. Despite the name, it is located in the Elmo's World section of the park and features his image on the exterior.
Peek-A-Bug 2006 a Rock 'n tug themed to a peek-a-bug.
Blast Off 2006 a tower drop ride in which riders travel to Planet Elmo.
Elmo's Cloud Chaser 2011 riders fly around in swings.
Flyin' Fish 2006 an aerial carousel ride, similar to Dumbo the Flying Elephant.
Snuffy's Slides 1980 two long dry tube slides for kids 12 and under. This is the last vestige of the Big Bird Bridge system.

Cookie's Monster Land

Named after Cookie Monster. Opened in 2014.

Name Opened Description
Captain Cookie's High C's Adventure 2014 pirate ships circle a rising and falling track.
Oscar's Rusty Rotten Rockets 2014 a whip-like ride, but with hanging garbage can-shaped rockets as vehicles.
Honker Dinger Derby 2014 a Tivoli Orbiter. Formerly operated at Busch Gardens Tampa as Sandstorm.
Monster Mix-up 2002 a teacup ride. Formerly known as Grover's World Twirl.
Flying Cookie Jars 2002 a 40-foot (12 m) high tower ride that affords a view of the park. Formerly known as Big Bird's Balloon Race.
Monster Clubhouse 2014 a net-climbing attraction.
Mini Monster Clubhouse 2014 a play area for smaller children.

Special Event Rides

These rides only operate during specific seasonal events.

Name Description
The Castle Swing a swing ride.
The Count's Fly By a smaller version of Elmo's Cloud Chaser, themed after the Count.
The Count Around a ferris wheel.
The Count's Cruisers a carousel-type attraction with 4x4 cars.
Sesame Place Furry Express a locomotive train.
Twiddlebug Gingerbread Factory a retheme to Twiddlebug Land.

Former attractions

  • Adult's Oasis - area for adults
  • The Amazing Mumford's Water Maze - a maze of tubes with water sprays (1980-2004) (replaced by a pathway)
  • Anti-Gravity Mirror
  • Balancing Buoys (1981-1982?)
  • Bert's Balance Beams - balance beams (1980-unknown)
  • Big Bird Steps - formerly "Big Bird Bridge," the park icon of Sesame Place (1980-2007) (replaced by Sunny Day Carousel)
  • Big Bird's Balloon Race - a 40-foot (12 m) high balloon tower ride that affords a view of the park (2002-2013) (re-branded as Flying Cookie Jars)
  • Big Bird's Court - a small playground and Big Bird's Nest, a large padded area with blocks kids 5 and under can build with and run around on (1980-2013) (replaced by Monster Clubhouse, Mini-Monster Clubhouse)
  • Chat Lag
  • Cheshire Cat (1982-unknown)
  • Circle Theatre - a theatre presenting an animal show (1983-unknown)
  • Circus Mirrors
  • The Computer Gallery - while computers are very common today, in the 1980s, barely anyone had a computer. In 1993, it was turned into The Games Gallery, which featured several arcade games, such as SegaSonic the Hedgehog (The Computer Gallery: 1980-1993, The Games Gallery: 1993-2001) (replaced by Cookie's Cafe)
  • Cookie Mountain - a tall blue mountain that kids seven and under can attempt to scale on their own (1980-2013) (replaced by Captain Cookie's High C's Adventure)
  • The Count's Ballroom - a giant ball pit with over 80,000 balls (1980-2006) (replaced by Blast Off)
  • The Count's Fount - a water play area that was replaced by a bigger and better one (1985-2008) (replaced by The Count's Splash Castle)
  • Create a Muppet Show - (1980’s-unknown)
  • Crystal Climb - (1982-unknown) (relocated to other side of the part) (original replaced by Adult's Oasis, relocated attraction replaced by Sesame Slab Slides)
  • Elmo's World Live - based on the segment of the show with the same name (2001-2016) (segment and show replaced by Elmo the musical)
  • Ernie's Bed Bounce - a huge, springy yellow air mattress (1980-2013) (replaced by Honker Dinger Derby)
  • Ernie's Bed Bounce (2nd) - due to the popularity of the first, a second was added (1981-1983) (replaced by Circle Theater)
  • Everyone is You and Me (1983-1990s)
  • Foot Notes
  • Grover's Rubber Band Bounce (unknown)
  • Grover's World Twirl - a character-themed teacup ride (2002-2013) (replaced by Monster Mix-Up)
  • Herry's Hand Over Water - playground equipment (like monkey bars, rings, etc.) over a pool of water (1980-1984) (replaced by Sesame Construction Company)
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Little Bird's Birdbath - a sprinkler park for little kids (unknown-2008) (replaced by The Count's Splash Castle)
  • Little Bird's Court - a playground and sand box for children to play in. A bigger, better version is built on "Sesame Island" (1980-2001) (replaced by Grover's World Twirl)
  • Little Bird's Rapids (unknown-2008) (replaced by The Count's Splash Castle)
  • Mirror Mirage
  • Mix and Match Muppet Totem Poles (unknown)
  • Monster Maze - a small, sand bottom pit with large "monster" bags kids can run around in (1980-2013) (replaced by Captain Cookie's High C's Adventure)
  • Multiscopes
  • Nets & Climbs - hundreds of yards of cargo netting connected by 200 feet (61 m) of suspended net tunnels (1980-2013) (replaced by Captain Cookie's High C's Adventure, Monster Clubhouse, Mini-Monster Clubhouse)
  • Oscar's Balance Beams - balance beams (unknown)
  • Oscar's Obstacle Course - a twisty maze in a sand box (1980-unknown)
  • Pedal Power and Cycles (1980-1999)
  • Pin Tables
  • Pitch Switch
  • Rainbow Room (1980-1999)
  • Rainbow Pyramid - an attraction that taught kids about air pressure (1980-2001) (replaced by Sesame Playhouse)
  • Rubber Duckie Pond (original) - before the "Splash Pad", it was a giant water bed. Kids could jump around and play on it. (1980-unknown) (redeveloped to a splash pad)
  • Rubber Duckie Pond (new) - a water play area (unknown-2010) (replaced by Elmo's Cloud Chaser)
  • Runaway Rapids - a tube water slide (1984-2008) (replaced by The Count's Splash Castle)
  • Sesame Beach - a sandbox for kids to play in, similar to Little Bird's Court (1980-2006) (replaced by Peek a Bug)
  • Sesame Construction Company - giant building blocks that can be used to create structures (1985-2001) (replaced by Big Bird's Balloon Race)
  • Sesame Dream Network
  • Sesame Garden - a flower garden (1981-1990s)
  • Sesame Slab Slides - slides that go from the top of the Nets & Climbs to the bottom
  • Sesame Production Company
  • Shadow Room (1980-2001)
  • Slippery Slopes (original) - foam-covered slides (1980-1985) (replaced by Sesame Streak)
  • The Snake Tube (1981-unknown)
  • Snuffle Ball (1981-unknown)
  • Super Grover's Cable Glides - a rope swing (1980-1986)
  • Talking Picture Show
  • Teleidoscope Temple (1980-1999)
  • Touch of Spring (1983-unknown)
  • Tunnels of Fun (1980-2013)
  • Twiddlebug Hop - a rope swing (1980-1986) (replaced by garden area)
  • Twiddlebug Tunnel - a tunnel for kids to crawl through where "mysterious colors and sounds await" (1980-unknown)
  • Whisper Walls (1980-2013)
  • Zoetrope
  • Zoom Flume - a water slide that closed in 1986 due to low capacity and the additions of other water attractions (1983-1986) (replaced by Little Bird's Birdbath)

Shows and parades

  • Neighborhood Street Party Parade - A parade with all costume characters and has dance stops throughout the parade route. (2011-present, anniversary: 2015, 2020)
  • Elmo the Musical! - Magic, mayhem, and music add up in Elmo the Musical - Live at Sesame Place! Join Elmo as it's time to raise the curtain and light the lights, when this brand-new show takes over the Sesame Studio at Sesame Place. (2014–present)
  • The Magic of Art - Abby Cadabby is getting ready for the art show on Sesame Street. Abby isn't sure what to create. Abby asks for help from Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover and Telly. She then learns art comes in all shapes and sized, with paintings and sculptures. They inspire Abby to use imagination and create your own masterpiece.
  • Our Street is Sesame Street -Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Big Bird! Sing, dance, and clap along as you watch the show at the Sesame Street Neighborhood.

Holiday shows and parades

The Count's Halloween Spooktacular Shows/Parades:

  • The Not Too Spooky Howl-Ween Radio Show! - A show starring the "Sesame Street" characters that they performed at the WSME theater and our Halloween broadcast. Located in "Abby's Paradise Theater". (2010–present)
  • Who Said Boo?! - A show at Sesame Place where Sesame Street characters went to the Count's Halloween Party but they hear an eerie BOO! Shows in the "Sesame Street Neighborhood Theater" (formerly "Monster Rock Theater"). (2014–present)
  • Elmo the Musical- A Halloween Adventure! - Magic, mayhem and music add up in Elmo the Musical - Live at Sesame Place! Join Elmo as it's time to raise the curtain and light the lights, when this brand-new show takes over the Sesame Studio at Sesame Place. (2014–present)
  • Neighborhood Halloween Street Party

A Very Furry Christmas Shows/Parades:

  • Christmas Storytime - Enjoy a Christmas story in Mr. Hooper's Emporium.
  • Elmo the Musical- A Christmas Adventure! - Magic, mayhem and music add up in Elmo the Musical - Live at Sesame Place! Join Elmo as it's time to raise the curtain and light the lights, when this brand-new show takes over the Sesame Studio at Sesame Place. (2014–present)
  • A Sesame Street Christmas - Visitors can join their Sesame Street friends to help Abby Caddaby learn about the December holidays.
  • Neighborhood Christmas Street Party
  • Elmo's Christmas Wish
  • 1-2-3 Christmas Tree

Costume characters

Families can have breakfast with the characters an hour before the rest of the park opens. This is not included in the regular admission price. The entire Sesame Place crew struts down Sesame Street twice a day in the "Neighborhood Street Party" Christmas parade. This features all of the Sesame Place characters, large floats, dancers and music. The characters include:

Current characters

Sesame Street

Former characters

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